Whatever your circumstances, whatever your needs, wouldn’t it be nice to have work in an environment where flexible working was accepted as the norm? Rather than always feeling that whatever you did you were letting someone down and in fear of losing work?
I’ve visited so many care homes over the last few years, but not all, if I’m honest, have felt like real homes. There is SO MUCH stigma around care homes and what they are like though that I wanted to celebrate some of the things I’ve consistently noticed in the care homes I love. The ones who make a big effort to make their environment as homely as possible, and therefore mean their residents have a great quality of life.
I was driving back from a session the other day and caught a programme on Radio 4 called ‘The Wrong Job’. It stemmed from the statistic that apparently 75% of people in the UK feel that they are in the wrong job, or hate their job. This struck a chord with me, and as I often do, I sat and listened to the end of the programme in my car, once I’d gotten home.
This might not seem strictly related to Join The Circle at first glance. But stay with me.
In September 2016 I had a mental breakdown and ended up being hospitalised. Warning. I'm going to get quite personal with my own experience so if that's not your thing or you might get a trigger from this kind of thing, it might be best to skip ahead to the next part.
Whilst I'd been working at The Brambles (the care home Rachel is the manager of) as an activity co-ordinator, I'd entered a competition with Dementia UK called 'Time For A Cuppa'. The idea was that your care home ran an event which raised money for Dementia UK and then documented this event. If you sent in details about your event you would be entered into a competition to win training for up to 10 staff to learn how to run 'Circle Dancing' sessions. We didn't really know what these were but FREE TRAINING!!
When I first started running sessions I was singing full time as part of an acoustic duo. My weekends were completely dominated by gigs - weddings, garden parties, birthdays, corporate dos - sometimes gigging up to 3 times a day! I'd been doing bits of volunteering on and off - working for a local charity in Southend called HARP, which does fantastic work with the homeless community. But I found that I could never stick to anything substantial because I had to keep taking paid jobs to live!
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” - Barack Obama
On my Facebook page this week, I've been going Live every night, to discuss why being self-employed is the best.
My business coach (yep! I have one of those and she's awesome!) tells me that going Live on my FB page is one of the best ways to let people see who I am. And I'll keep doing that as it's important to me that you know who I am - you're going to trust me to teach you how to run your own business - it's important you actually like me or you won't trust what I'm telling you! BUT if you're like me and you'd rather read a paragraph than watch a video, then scroll down passed the video to see what it was I was actually saying!
Activity co-ordinators and care home managers are always trying to find more outside contractors to come in to their home and provide entertainment or an activity for their residents. These could be anybody from actors putting on a pantomime, to singers, to visits from an organisation providing pet therapy. Why? The residents’ response to an activity put on by an outside consultant is usually higher, for a number of reasons!